The Plunket Museum of Irish Education was opened in 1992 at the Church of Ireland College of Education. It is situated in the old stable-yard in a two-storey stone building, renovated as a Fás project. It consists of a 1900 Model Classroom, with a display area upstairs. The museum houses a large number of artefacts from nineteenth and twentieth century classrooms, donated by or collected from schools. It is run in conjunction with the archive collection held in the college, which relates to the work of the Kildare Place Society (The Society for Promoting the Education of the Poor in Ireland) founded in 1811. This archive includes a large collection of early school textbooks, classroom materials and teaching aids, a number of which are on permanent display in the museum. The museum is the only one in the Republic of Ireland dedicated to the history of education.
The museum is visited by school parties and others by appointment only. A visit to the museum offers the experience of a nineteenth century lesson in the model classroom. The teacher and pupils dress up in costume and the teacher instructs the class in reading, writing, and arithmetic using slates and copy headlines. In 2005 Church of Ireland College of Education Publications produced a publication for schools entitled Slates Up! Schools and Schooling in the Nineteenth Century', which was published with the financial support of the Heritage Council. This book has been praised by teachers and has proved popular with schools due to its relevance for the primary History curriculum. It is available from the college
(see CICE Publications page for details).